The Ridiculing Posture

It is like a tornado itself. Except its attempt is to contain the damage and restrain it in the future. A particularly clear dispatch by Fiona Harvey, "Damage from global warming 'to worsen'," in Saturday's FT reports on the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Change to be made public this week. Now, according to this panel, North America and northern Europe will do not badly, in a comparative sense, and the southern spheres plus East Asia and lower Europe will be a disaster.

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Friedman's Follies

Everything that happens in the world that's bad and everything that doesn't happen that would be good is clearly George Bush's fault. No doubt about that. Now, frankly, I too accept that proposition as it regards the relentlessly intrusive efforts to put every government action in line with the administration's often crackpot and more than somewhat authoritarian ideology.

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Krauthammer's Martian

Charles Krauthammer bashes Democrats who call Afghanistan the site of "the real war" on terror. I'm sure it's true that Democrats prefer talking about Afghanistan to Iraq because it's an easier moral case. But Krauthammer's argument is built around an awfully glib view of Afghanistan's strategic value. Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents.

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Unconstitutional?

by Jacob T. Levy Over on The Spine, Marty Peretzseemingly endorses state-level divestments from businesses doing business in Sudan. Apart from the merits of divestment as a strategy of effecting change, I have a question: Isn't such a policy unconstitutional? Per Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council, states are prohibited from conducting independent foreign policies through economic boycotts; the federal government occupies the whole field of legitimate action on foreign trade. Isn't a divestment policy just a narrow case of an economic boycott?

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The Editors point out that the U.S. attorney firings are only the latest part of the Bushies' plan to subvert political norms; Eve Fairbanks watches D. Kyle Sampson convince the Senate Judiciary Committee that his idiocy, not politics, are to blame in the firings; Cass R. Sunstein explains why top White House aides won't be forced to testify; and John B. Judis says Hillary is still an Iraq hawk. --Adam B. Kushner

by Sanford Levinson Monica Lewinsky was involuntarily recruited into the American culture war as myth and symbol, and she is still paying a cost, as Richard Cohen noted a couple of months ago in an eloquent Washington Post column, saying she should be granted an honorable discharge from that war upon her recent graduation from an altogether serious program at the London School of Economics.

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I wouldn't panic. Even if she actually makes it to the White House, Hillary will not desert Israel. But you can already see how people-politics will be done in another Clinton administration. After announcing his support for Hillary's campaign for the presidency and that he will run her primary operation in the crucial state of New Hampshire, of which his wife Jeanne was governor, Bill Shaheen has already put himself into the next Clinton government. Shaheen has deep feelings for the Middle East, being a Lebanese Christian and all that.

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South Africa's Shame

You could see it coming. And, finally, the subject has been broached in The New York Times in an article by Michael Wines. The headline tells us that "South Africa Lowers Voice on Human Rights." But the report itself is not so reticent. There are details of how South Africa, this month's chair at the Security Council, is a tribune for some of the worst human rights violators on the globe, especially Zimbabwe and Myanmar. The dispatch does not deal with South Africa's utter indifference to the plight of black people in Darfur. No, I've understated this.

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A Mccain Flip-flop?

Appearing recently on the Laura Ingraham show, John McCain said, "We've got to stop this terrible, disgraceful earmark spending which did corrupt us, and that's why we lost the 2006 election, not because of the war in Iraq, in my view." That's basic conservative boilerplate: We lost the election because we lost our way ideologically, not because of the war. But wait: McCain for months has been touting his support for the war despite intense public opposition.

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Data Dump

Like many people who don't know much about computers, I assume I'll end up using Vista, Microsoft's latest version of Windows, eventually. Not that I really need it, mind you: My computer use mostly involves trawling the Internet, pecking away on a word processor, watching political ads on YouTube, and playing music. My laptop can handle all of that just fine, and, in theory, it should be able to keep whirring along for another decade.

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